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up the hill backwards...

We're lucky to live within a half an hour drive of the Pennines and our local 'hill' -Winter Hill. Now Winter Hill has several claims to fame including terrible fires, the local television mast, aeroplane disasters, the 'Right to Roam' march, UFO's and even a murder! It stands on the West Pennine moors and is 1496 feet (456m) high. Locally it is more famously known as 'Rivvi' - the home of Rivington Pike which is a hugely popular place for walkers, cyclists, motorcyclists and in the winter sledgers and skiers! If you ever hear a northerner saying they are 'going up Rivvi' you now know exactly what they mean!

The transmitter on Winter Hill taken from Worthington, Standish.

The climb up to Rivington Pike is steep, but the views from the top can be spectacular (when it isn't raining or cloudy!). Walkers are rewarded by reaching the Pike Tower - a Grade II listed building (originally a hunting lodge) built by John Andrews in 1733. On a clear day you can see Liverpool, Blackpool, Manchester and even the hills of Wales. If its raining or cloudy you'll be lucky to see the nearest sheep!

The climb up takes you through the wonders of Rivington Terraced Gardens - caves, lakes, bridges - its a magical place and its easy to see why it is so popular. The gardens were designed and paid for by Lord Leverhulme (he probably invented your washing powder amongst other things!) working alongside Thomas Mawson who is known as the first real 'landscape gardener'. After the death of Lord Leverhulme in 1925 everything was sold and the gardens fell into a state of disrepair. The house and other buildings were demolished after World War II and the gardens were left to Mother Nature. 60 years later, and now under the ownership of United Utilities, the Rivington Heritage Trust and Utd Utilities managed to secure a Heritage Lottery grant and work started on a £4.2 million restoration and conservation project.

The Gardens contain 11 Grade II listed structures, including the Pigeon Tower, Seven Arch Bridge and five Summer Houses plus Italian & Japanese Lakes.

You can read more about the garden's history and their current state on the Rivington Terraced Gardens website. You will also find maps of the area, things to do and much more. We need to study this in great detail before our next visit as everytime we go we manage to miss so much of the gardens! If you see us wandering about you'll usually hear us muttering as to which path we need to take! In fact if you do see us please point us in the right direction!

It's a wonderful place for photography from the summit to the structures, the lakes, the bridge, the countryside and even the television mast! If you visit on a sunday head for Rivington Barn and youll be met with motorbikes of all shapes and sizes. We love it!



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